Holiday karavákia (little boats) on display at Athena Restaurant. (Photo: Courtesy of Greektown Chicago)
CHICAGO – Paying tribute to Greece’s holiday tradition of decorating small boats – ‘karavákia’ – with paint, lights and other materials, the Greektown Arts Committee invited over 30 local artists to contribute to a display spread around Greektown businesses throughout the holiday season.
Greektown also showcased a larger karaváki, painted by distinguished artist James Mesple, near the monument at Elysian Field (southeast corner of Halsted and Van Buren Streets), where Greektown’s holiday tree is displayed annually.
A vibrant project that supports the arts and further shares Hellenic culture with visitors, the karavakia display is not the first for Greektown. A tradition that began a few years ago, past displays have included hand-painted sun, fish, lighthouse and Olympic discus sculptures, which are still on display around Greektown.
“For me personally growing up with Greektown, it’s tremendously gratifying to see art I created on the streets and in establishments. As for the greater benefit, it brightens up the daily pedestrian commute and lightens spirits, especially in these trying times,” contributing artist Terry Poulos said.
“Many of the sculptures have an educational narrative as well. Mine center on science and have a particular focus on ancient technology including the Antikythera Mechanism and Greek mathematics, including Plato’s forms, Archimedean geometry, and modern fractal images,” he said.
Chicago’s historical Greektown is a dining, nightlife, and cultural district located on the Near West Side of Chicago. A popular destination for tourists and the city’s residents alike, Greektown offers a sampling of Hellenic heritage outside of Greece – from authentic restaurants, cafes and shops, to the National Hellenic Museum and annual Taste of Greektown festival.
On display from December to January, Greektown’s Holiday Karavákia Display participating artists & locations included:
Arkadia Tower Apartments
Artist: Chuck Walker
111 S. Halsted St.
Artopolis Bakery, Cafe and Agora
Artists: Vicky Tesmer, Andy Morreale, & Jennifer Cronin
306 S. Halsted St.
Artists: Ken Hirte, Dustin Harris & Terry Poulos
212 S. Halsted St.
Athenian Candle Co.
Artists: James Mesple, Malika Jackson, Rebecca Zaragoza, & Tyrue ‘Slang’ Jones
300 S. Halsted St.
Chicago Parthenon Hostel
Artists: Connie Hinkle & Victoria Martin
310-312 S. Halsted St.
Artist: Leo Talaganis
309 S. Halsted St.
Dugan’s on Halsted
Artist: Marcelo Elli
128 S. Halsted St.
Greek Islands Restaurant
Artists: Fernando Ramirez, Diane Thodos, Patricia Owsiany, Panos Fiorentios & Alexandra Damato
200 S. Halsted
Artist: David Holt
235 S. Halsted St.
Nine Muses Bar & Grill
Artists: Kiki Whitehead & Kathleen King
315 S. Halsted St.
Rye Deli + Drink
Artist: Chris Loutris
25 S. Halsted St.
Sonder Greektown Suites
Artist: Michael Thompson & Sheri Smith
314 S. Halsted St.
Spectrum Bar & Grill
Artists: Michael Thompson, Vasiliki Valkanas, Louis DeMarco & Mariana Karampelas
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